Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 9 Report

This week I re-wrote my draft and submitted the final report, where outlined the main outcomes of our projects. Moreover, we discussed different learning styles and how technology can address them. The main conclusion was that technology affects not only learners but also teachers, shapes the strategies used in classroom and outside it.

How the English language was developed. History of English in 10 minutes:)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 8 Webinar

Hi everyone,

I called this reflection "webinar" as my strongest impression of this week is Webinar with Jeff. It's the first time I've taken part in such kind of activity and was amazed what technology can do. People from all over the world were together in one "space", could see and hear each other and communicate as well!!

This week I also submitted the draft of my report, which was quite easy to create. I used my previous posts and reflections on this matter, brushed them up and sent to my partner. Let's see what she says about it:)

As an online activity, I created the nicenet class. Since our course started, I have been interested how it works from inside, what kind of activities can be created, how they are created and by whom, etc. And I had my chance to sneak in and so I did. The management system is easy to use, understandable and doesn't require you to be an IT guru, which makes it very attractive to me. I'm sure I'll use it in my future classes.

Something to think about: Right to Understand by Sandra Fisher.

Kind regards,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 7 Change - Part 2

This week we created the plan for one-computer classroom and discussed learner autonomy with regards to students and teachers. Everybody agrees that autonomy should be developed and mastered in a person, however, it requires time, motivation and excellent guidelines. Funnily enough (I didn't know we would be examining the idea of autonomy when planning the activities), my change was all about autonomy:))

As you may remember my students submitted the entries to the diary last week. This week my class did the peer review of their works in groups of 3-4 and submitted their final versions of diary entries. Students assessed each other works using the rating scale and posted comments taking into account 5 divisions: contents, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and organisation. This sub-task was due on Wednesday (Robert, I used your methods:), and the second sub-task was due on Saturday - students were supposed to read the comments they were given, take them into account or not, edit their works and submit the final version of their diary entry. I will be marking the works the whole day tomorrow.

What I like about this week's change that the students' creations are public and every one can see what others have written, what comments and grades other people are given. I created the online questionnaire to my students to leave their feedback about the project. Most of them say that this "public" trait make them more responsible, organised and forces to pay attention to spelling and vocabulary use. Many admitted having looked up words more often than they would normally do. The disadvantage of peer review is that some students didn't take it seriously or didn't want to offend their friends and would write something like "everything is good". To conclude, I should say that it was a real change for my class which, hopefully, helped them look at learning process from a different prospective.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 6 Change - Part 1

The major task for this week was to start implementing "a change" in the classroom - using a new technology.

I should admit that I began preparing for this "change" 2 weeks ago by talking to my class about new ideas and trends in second language teaching, CALL in particular. All of my students became very excited and I had to answer a hundred of questions: what, where, when, how and how soon. Moreover, at that time, I asked my students to make sure they were able to get online at least 1-2 times the following week and 2-3 times the week after.

A few days later, after our online discussion, I knew exactly what I was going to do and talked to my students again, explained the aims of our 2-week adventure, tasks and strategies how to complete them. The "change" I've planned consists of 2 parts and Part 1 took place this week.

Before I start describing the project, I should mention the background information: the class has been reading and discussing the play "Night of January, 16" by A.Rand since the term started. (The main character Karen Andre is on trial, suspected of killing her lover, a world-know tycoon Bjorn Faulkner. This video will give you more idea what this story is about Trailer 1 or Trailer 2.) Ayn Rand gives two endings of the story and lets the audience choose what happens to her characters. Moreover, as you may remember I wanted to use prezi or squidoo. However, after the careful consideration and Robert's advice, I chose wiki as the most suitable for my students educational needs and internet possibilities.

Thus, the Part 1 Task was the following:
1) Read the final chapter of your book "Night of January, 16" by A.Rand.
2) Complete the quiz which checks how well you know the story.
3) Vote for the ending of the story online.
4) Think what happens to the main character Karen Andre after the trial, choose the date in the future after January, 16 (the following week, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years) and write 200-250-word diary entry. Submit your work to the wiki "Karen Andre's Diary".

The outcomes by the end of the week: the quiz and voting task are completed by all the students. 60% of the students have submitted their diary entries, the others, as all average pupils do, will complete that at the last minute:) Let's see what happens by the deadline, Sunday, 23.55.

And, as usual, there is some food for thought: British Council: Voices for diversity and equal opportunities in ELT (IATEFL Cardiff Online, 2009). The video is an hour long, watch at least the first 3 minutes and minutes 21.00-24.00.